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WASTE, NOT WEAPON, IS ROCKY WORRY

overalls.jpgChill out, everyone. (Including yours truly.) The "dangerous" spy program Sen. Jay Rockefeller hooted about the other day is not a weapon in space, Arms Control Wonk Jeffrey Lewis assures us.In fact, the Senator has since backed off of his "dangerous" comment, with his spokesperson telling the AP that "He was referring to the fact that it was a misallocation of funds."So what is this mystery project, then? Lewis is guessing it's the Future Imagery Architecture, a long, long-troubled set of eyes in orbit that the Pentagon's Defense Science Board called in 2003 "significantly underfunded and technically flawed. The task force believes this FIA program is not executable."The Times quotes some unnamed "officials" who swear that FIA was not the source of Rocky's outburst. But either way, the bottom line is, "its a big waste of money, but not a space weapon," Lewis concludes.THERE'S MORE: The National Reconnaissance Office -- the government agency behind FIA and other spy satellite efforts -- "has dropped plans to procure a new generation of data-relay satellites equipped with laser-optic communications technology," according to C4ISR Journal.

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